Monday, June 07, 2010


Monday 7 June 2010

“I had a big argument with my dad.  He took my car and I am still in Reading.”

This morning I awaken at 5AM emerging from pleasant dreams with faces that I recognise.  As I look over at my TV the menu screen for One Night In Turin appears to have been on loop throughout the night and yet again the window next to it has been wide open giving my neighbours a demonstration of my tastes.

For once I turn the set off and roll back over to sleep, which I accomplish thankfully.

Monday begins with gloom (a cloud) as the news leads with David Cameron declaring that the country is in a worse financial state than he had initially thought.  No shit Sherlock.  This is just too convenient for him.  The word is that our way of life is about to change (decline) again.  Seriously mate, my generation has nothing left to give, it is a spent force (a spent generation).  He says that “Britain’s whole way of life will be disrupted for years by the most drastic public spending cuts in a generation” and that “this will change British life.”  My gut instinct is that it is going to be more severe than that.  This begins to bring about the question in my mind as to just what “upwardly mobile” means.  I am earning well into the highest tax bracket but I am still fucked financially, I don’t feel that I have much in the way of social mobility.  The game is just rigged.

With this defeatism in mind I trudge into the day with a sense of sadness and despair.  In a way I think I enjoy things being this way, I don’t think I could deal with being happy or successful, of being in love or of a definite and clear understanding with another being.

My face is red.  Have I caught the sun over the weekend?  I was barely outside for any of it.  Do I now have the ozone and skin disease to worry about too?

As I leave my apartment The Ghost is already stood opposite our building.  This morning he prompts the wave for the first time.  Really, where does he come from?

I drive to the station in casual fashion/form, taking it easy and not tempting fate.  When the train eventually/finally pulls into the station it is a piss streak one.  Welcome to Monday.

Today I find myself sat amongst the Sturrock Gang on the train.  This morning all talk is about the World Cup.  They talk bollocks in the process.

After beaching a couple of times the train finally pulls in at 8.01AM.  As I pass through Liverpool Street I spot Chinese OCD Man for the first time in months.  This feels like a good omen for the day.  For the first time ever I actually see him finish up sorting out The Metro newspaper piles, emerging with an expression of confusion and satisfaction.  I’m genuinely pleased for him and his accomplishment.

The crazy person at Kings Cross today is a lady wearing headphones the size of her entire head.  She’s like an ugly version of Princess Leia in Star Wars.  The headphones are attached to an iPhone and it all feels like such an unnecessary gesture.  Throughout she is smiling, seemingly pleased with herself.  It must be great stuff in those ears.

Eventually I step into work where all things seem fine.  Shortly after I arrive our boss steps in and asks me if I have had from The Girl and then he shows me a text message from her saying that she won’t be in today.  As usual this pisses him off (and rightfully so) as it is too par for the course from her these days.  She takes the piss too much, slowly killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.  A few minutes later after my boss goes in search of an explanation she responds with another text that says:  “I had a big argument with my dad.  He took my car and I am still in Reading.”  This raises more questions than it answers.  Problem child.

So from here it is just the Filipino and I today as she is chatty but I am just horribly distracted and thus appear rude as a result.

I think I am already winding down in anticipation of my World Cup week off next week.

Halfway through the morning the Filipino throws in a curveball as she invites me to a barbecue for her daughter’s birthday on Saturday.  Saturday is England v USA and a trip up to Kilburn at such times poses something of a problem but I feel I cannot say “no” to such a nice person and grand invitation.

Something is going down in the office today.  From the other room/office I can hear raised voices in what sounds like a very heated conference call.  Luckily these things never spill into our office/department.

Late in the morning the angry boss brings in the post and asks where The Girl is.  I shrug and just respond “issues” at which point he barks at me with some discord, as is to be expected.  It’s not my fault though.

From here I sail out the remainder of the morning in distracted fashion.  At lunchtime I have penne with chicken.  It fills a gap.

Into the afternoon it proves a quiet one.  Just after 3PM the Filipino heads off to meet her daughter from school on her birthday leaving me to take care of the shop and answer the phone etc.  It turns out to be a nice, quiet afternoon until our aggro oil supplier Tim calls up chasing money.  As soon as he swears at me mentally I switch off and lose the desire to assist him.

Thankfully 5.30PM then arrives without any other hassle.  Upon leaving the boss suggests a drink and we have a mini session that sends out mixed messages.  He tells me how his son is entering the army.  To me this sounds like the worst idea in the world but my boss is proud of his son so I refuse to say anything and cheapen his world.

Eventually with relief I head off, listening to this week’s episode of The Bugle.  This is my Monday post work ritual now.

I take the Jubilee Line up to Wembley Park which is a journey that feels like it takes forever.  Tonight I am going to see the HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS against the WASHINGTON GENERALS at Wembley Arena.

When I finally emerge at Wembley again it is drizzling but the scene under Olympic Way is somewhat different to a few weeks ago and the play off final.  There is no singing or shouting, only dank weather and people sheltering.  Coupled with this again the walk up Wembley Way is a lengthy, almost tiring one and all in all this makes for a rough start to proceedings.

The last time (and only time) I came here was with Iain a couple of years ago to see Cage Rage 27.

Soon I find myself inside the arena where immediately vendors are grabbing at my money.  I buy a programme without asking the price first and wind up forking out/over £6 for a publication that doesn’t even have any stats for the GENERALS inside it.

Finally I take my seat and against my concerns it is a pretty good one, at the front with a decent view of the show.

Before long the show begins and in the run up to tip off the HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS’ mascot Globie takes to the court where he shuffles to the music.  His appearance coincides with my most drunken moment/state of the evening which sees me laughing at him Moonwalk more than any 33 year old reasonably and sensibly should.

Then come the cheerleaders.  Please ladies, don’t bother.

Eventually the WASHINGTON GENERALS run out onto the court complete with trash talking coach in a cheap brown suit.  Very swiftly he takes the mike from the announcer and WWF style starts ripping on England and specifically our chances against America in the World Cup on Saturday now that Rio Ferdinand is out injured.  He obviously doesn’t know how rubbish Ferdinand actually is.

A few minutes later Sweet Georgia Brown begins ringing out and the HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS emerge to much fanfare, lapping up applause as they warm up.  With soundtrack in tow they prepare like no other team, pulling tricks to display their gifts.  There is even a player in the crowd attempting to make a shot from distance but unfortunately he fails each time.  They just don’t make ‘em like they used to.

After more stunts and a little horseplay eventually the game tips off and unsurprisingly right from the start the GLOBETROTTERS begin to dominate.

On the GENERALS team is a short player that reminds of Gary Coleman who the GLOBETROTTERS uncharitably soon begin referring to as “Baby”, picking on him the process.  He is an easy target, what kind of message is this they’re supplying?

Partway through the quarter the GENERALS’ coach steps onto the court with a special umbrella with which he proceeds to hypnotise a star GLOBETROTTER prompting him to play against his own team and wreck plans.  This all results in the necessity for them to do something “awesome” in order to get him to snap out of it.  Meanwhile as the GLOBETROTTERS stagger around confused, with the advantage the GENERALS make up some space.

Soon the tricks take over as the GLOBETROTTERS begin grabbing people from the stands and dragging them on court to join in.  Surely this is breaking the rules.  Sadly there is no sign of any ladder usage.

In a way it has to be said that the GLOBETROTTERS play dirty, not least in the way they rip the uniform off some hapless WASHINGTON GENERALS player who proceeds to run around the building embarrassed in his underwear.  Such is the life of a mark.

Soon the game reaches halftime with the score HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS 44 WASHINGTON GENERALS 31.

At halftime we get the usual entertainment, more cheerleaders and more Globie.  Maybe I should be heading back to the bar for drinks to continue facilitating the drunken process but instead I remain glued in my seat.

Into the second half the hijinks continue as the GLOBETROTTERS begin squabbling over cups of water which invariably wind up being tossed into the crowd.  Later they steal a girl’s handbag which then prompts them to display their dance moves and additional skills.  They also cuss out her boyfriend in the process.

Later at some point I swear one of the kids dragged on court to do a trick is wearing an Ipswich Town football shirt.  That is so wrong.

Throughout the half the GENERALS head coach continues to step on the court with his hypnotic umbrella and turn various members of the GLOBETROTTERS only to have them snap out of their lull by doing something awesome.  At one point the star GLOBETROTTER is even been hypnotised to the point that he has curled up asleep in the centre of the court and been supplied with a blanket and pillow.  It is at around this point the clock appears to run down in stranger manner.

Towards the end of the game the GENERALS make something of a comeback, rallying right up to the end by which time it is too late.  In the end the final minute gets played out with everyone on their feet.

Unsurprisingly it ends on victory for the GLOBETROTTERS as the GENERALS continue their search for their first win since 1971.  Its coming, they’re definitely due one.  At the close of the game the score is HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS 87 WASHINGTON GENERALS 65.

As the GENERALS disappear off to their changing room to reflect on their “loss” the gets roped off as opportunity is given for fans to get their programmes autographed by the GLOBETROTTERS.

Myself I don’t wish to hang around and as I emerge out of Wembley Arena the rain is still tearing down.  As I look up at Wembley Stadium I see the image of Fabio Capello looking over proceedings Gatsby style.  I hope he was taking note of the hypnotism method this evening.

From here the tube journey back to Liverpool Street is a long one but at least it is a direct one.  In the end I manage to get a fairly decent timed train home meaning it isn’t too late by the time I return home to Colchester.  High times.

Taking it hard to the hoop.

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